Welcome to my blog!

This blog tells my experience with buying a house in Dublin, Ireland, and renovating it. 

I wanted to share everything I learned along the way, my misadventures and any tips and tricks!


Planning to buy a property in need of restoration? Here are 2 Renovation Incentive Schemes

If you are planning to buy a property in need of some renovation, you may want to check the following two schemes, which will help you save some money. 

HOME RENOVATION INCENTIVE SCHEME

The Home Renovation Incentive Scheme, which runs until the end of this year for Homeowners and Landlords (31 December 2015), provides an income tax credit of 13,5% for those who spend between €4,405 (before VAT) - €30,000 (before VAT) on home renovations and remodelling.

Work like extensions, window fitting, plumbing, tiling and plastering all fall under the scheme (see here for a full list of works that qualify). As the scheme is intended to help tackle the issue of unlicensed builders, the rebate is granted to homeowners who hire tax-compliant professionals. 

This is a brief checklist of the steps to follow if you plan to apply to this scheme: 

  • Ensure that you have paid or arranged to pay any Local Property Tax (LPT) or Household Charge that is due
  • Check that your contractor has a VAT number and is tax-compliant – see Revenue’s FAQs for details of the proof required
  • Ensure that the work qualifies – see 'Qualifying work' above
  • Keep all supporting documentation – tax clearance certificates, estimates, receipts etc.
  • Give the contractor the LPT Property ID of your property but not your PIN or PPSN

As a note, where there are joint owners and only some of the owners pay tax, the tax credit can be claimed by those paying tax based on qualifying expenditure incurred by them.
 

BETTER ENERGY HOMES SCHEME

Better Energy Homes is a Government scheme which gives fixed cash grants for insulation and heating system upgrades, helping to make your home more comfortable and cheaper to run. It is available to all owners of homes built before 2006 (homes built from 2006 onwards don't apply because should have been constructed to the 2003 Building Regulations and so should not require significant insulations or heating system upgrades).

Homeowners may avail of both the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) and Better Energy Homes when upgrading their home.

Where a home is availing of Better Energy Homes and Home Renovation Incentive the applicant must deduct three times the Better Energy Homes grant value from the Home Renovation Incentive qualifying expenditure. Note: all Better Energy grant-related expenditure can count towards meeting the €5,000 minimum threshold. 

Here's a breakdown of the grants:

Grant Approval from SEAI must be in place prior to any purchase of materials or commencement of works is undertaken, and all works must be completed by a contractor from SEAI’s Registered List.

The grant offer is valid for a six month period. All works and the BER must be carried out within this timeframe. Note that all the paper work must also be submitted prior to the six month expiry date. Paperwork received after the six month expiry date will be declined and a grant will not be paid even if the work has been carried out within the 6 month time period. 

How hard is it for foreigners to obtain an AIP? Very.

Documents needed for an AIP - Approval in Principle